Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

The Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest awards 84 students prizes of varying values for their essays, depending on their places. The essay explores Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, but the specific essay topics change every year.

Eligibility and Requirements

To be considered for the Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest, the applicant must be one of the following:

  • 12th grader
  • College undergraduate
  • Graduate student

Application Procedures and Selection Criteria

The application requires:

  • No application form
  • The essay itself (800-1,600 words)
  • A cover letter with the applicant’s name, email address, topic selected, and current grade

The selection criteria for the Atlas Shrugged Essay contest are:

  • Whether the student is able to argue and justify his/her view
  • Clear, articulate, and organized writing
  • An outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged


The essay is due in late October. Participants will be notified of decisions in late December.


Stella Setka, Ph.D.

Fellowships Coordinator, National and International Scholarship Office

University Hall 1848